Yesterday was a very emotionally exhausting day.
I didn’t get much sleep because of my excitement and nerves about our 12 week scan. I spent most of the morning trying to distract myself with a hair appointment (my lovely hairdresser and her husband trying to reassure me and keep positive) but as Dave and I sat in the waiting room, the dry mouth was back. I wasn’t in the mood for chatting. I needed a nervous wee (but obviously couldn’t go) and I kept fiddling and twitching.
When it was finally our turn to go in, I swear I could have been sick. Because my pregnancy has been so easy up to this morning – no nausea or sickness, no bleeding or spotting, no cramping – the only signs I was clinging onto that my pregnancy was real was the sore heavy boobs (although they’ve settled down now), the tiredness, and my expanding belly.
We had a chap called Michael do our scan. He had a very dry sense of humour to put me at ease. He wasn’t interested in our private scan and what they determined – this was our first NHS one and that was all that mattered to him.
Before I knew it, I was on that bed, warm gel on my tummy (was a great invention that was!), and my neck craned towards the TV screen on the wall. We saw Cub straight away, but then my heart stopped. I couldn’t see a heartbeat. I started crying, asking why I couldn’t see a heartbeat. Dave told me to shhh and Michael said “well I can see one!” And that’s when I focused a little closer and breathed the biggest sigh of relief in my life. When we had our 8 week scan, the baby was so tiny and see through with such a massive heart that it was the first thing you noticed beating away. Of course now, the baby is more robust, and the heart isn’t so big compared to the rest of the body, so the thumping heart wasn’t as noticeable straight away. But it was there – beating steady and strong.
All I could keep saying was “oh my god it looks like a little baby! Dave – look! It’s a baby!” And Michael was like “Guess what? It IS a baby!”
Got to love a British sense of humour eh?
He measured Cub as being 12 weeks exactly yesterday, putting me at 12 weeks 1 day today, so a day ahead. He also confirmed my placenta was on the front of my uterus, but this would be more clear at our 20 week scan on the 23rd December.
It was so magical – and so weird – to see Cub wriggling around, having a dance, waving at us, and stretching, all without me feeling it. In fact, it just wouldn’t keep still! We said that it’s obviously got Dave’s fidgety gene, but it looked like it had my button nose. And I’d rather our baby be a fidget and have my nose than Dave’s massive Roman one!
There was one point that we will never forget, when we truly fell in love. Cub took a big stretch in a way just like me! One second all tucked up, and then the next stretched right out on its back, legs and arms straight and then curled back up again. This is EXACTLY what I do when I’m in bed! Dave and I looked at each other – he was liked “that’s just like you!”
Ahhh it was amazing.
There were a couple of bumps in the road though. My BMI is 0.7 over what they’d like it to be (which I work out to be literally 4lbs overweight). I’m not obese at all, and I’m still in size 10-12 maternity gear, but they just want me to keep an eye on it. Now my voracious appetite has settled down I will try and get back on plan again. They’ve booked me in for a glucose test at the end of January when I’m 24 weeks pregnant to check for gestational diabetes, but I’m confident it will go well. When I had fertility blood tests done, it came back that I wasn’t pre-diabetic or anything, and when my dad took my blood sugar levels the other week because I was feeling faint, they were smack bang in the middle of normal. But I’m disappointed with myself. I am 8lbs heavier than my lightest weight just before we went on holiday at the start of August – so 8lbs on in 2 months. That’s not horrific by any stretch, and I know I stopped exercising immediately when I discovered I was pregnant but I can get back on it now so it doesn’t get out of control. And as I say, I still am slim!
The other bump (so to speak!) was taking my blood. Needles went in all sorts of veins and not a single drop of blood came out. This last happened 15 years ago when I used to donate blood and had to stop because my body rejected the needles, causing my veins to shut down. So the midwife sent me to the other side of the hospital to have the experts at the clinic take my blood. This was the same place I last sat in back in August for my 3rd round of blood tests for more repeat checks. I said to Dave that it was so bizarre to be back, but pregnant this time.
All the time we were waiting for these different tests and checks, we kept looking in awe at our scan photos, amazed that THAT was in THERE.
When we finally got away from the hospital over 2 hours later, I went straight to my parents’ house. Watching them smile and cuddle each other whilst cooing over the pictures made my heart swell and melt all at the same time. Then it was the usual ridiculousness of them trying to operate the iPad so they could take a picture of the scan photo.
I got back home and then began to compose my social media announcement. This was when the tears really started. I wanted to be sensitive and compassionate. I knew how it felt to see one of those pregnancy announcements with the scan photo and how it would break my heart into tiny pieces, so I wanted to phrase it just right. I always vowed that I would be honest about how difficult it was to get to this point, just in case others reading it were going through what we did. It took me 30 minutes to write. I hadn’t even written a draft version before yesterday because I didn’t want to jinx anything. Below is what I put.
60+ negative pregnancy tests
1 heartbreaking chemical pregnancy
9 blood tests
3 reflexology sessions
Taking my temperature at 5:30am everyday for nearly 2 years
Countless hours spent crying in the shower when I’ve got my period, or on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night.
There were times when we thought we’d never get to do this. Dave and I are so delighted, and blessed, to announce that we are expecting our little Cub, due 10th May 2018.
This has not be an easy journey at all. Infertility comes in many forms. Nearly 2 years we endured month after month of “failing” to fall pregnant when everyone around us seemed to be announcing. You are led to believe when you grow up that you have unprotected sex and you fall pregnant. WRONG.
We know people in our lives who are desperate to be in our shoes, who have suffered miscarriages and infertility too, who will feel pain over this announcement. Like we did too. To those people: I’m always thinking of you. Don’t give up. We never gave up hope, even though there were times we thought we couldn’t try for another month. Our hearts weren’t strong enough.
The road to this pregnancy has taught us patience and strength we didn’t know we had. It’s brought wonderful people into our lives who we otherwise wouldn’t have met. It’s reminded me how awesome and supportive our friends are, being there for us in our darkest days. THANK YOU. And it led to me starting my infertility blog – that has now reached 90,000 views worldwide.
Cub, mummy and daddy have waited so so long for you to come into our lives. You are loved so very much already. We can’t wait to meet you next May 🐻 ❤ xxxxx
Then the messages and likes and loves came flooding in – both through my personal accounts and blog ones. It was so overwhelming to finally be on the receiving end of all the congratulations. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling and crying.
I went back to my Slimming a World group last night after being away for the past 4-6 weeks. I wore a ‘PREGGERS’ t-shirt and had so many well wishes and congratulations. My consultant gave me 5 minutes to share my news with the groups. Once again, I was in tears explaining the journey to this point, and that I credited Slimming a World and losing weight for getting pregnant in th first place, because I know deep down that if I hadn’t made the decision to join back in January I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this post now. I will still continue popping to group, but not to weigh myself. I don’t want to get obsessive.
And so then I finally went home at 9pm, emotionally exhausted. I sat on the sofa with Dave and just let the tears flow. The realisation was hitting. We were finally pregnant. After such a long battle to GET pregnant, now we were, it was dawning on me that we were going to be parents. For life. Our lives were going to change FOREVER. What we always wanted to happen was finally coming true for us. It was our turn. At last.
I went to bed with tears in my eyes, a smile on my face, love in my heart and my husband’s hand on my stomach.
And I slept easy. For the first time in nearly 2 years.